Travel Theme: Architecture

This weeks Travel Theme set by Ailsa is Architecture. I don’t very often take part in these weekly challenges but just occasionally the subject jumps out at me and I jump in with my contribution.

The diversity of architecture through time and place is absolutely mind bogling. This is such a broad subject that to do it justice would take eons and far more blog posts than we could possibly dedicate to it in one week.

But here’s my look through time at a few magnificent architectural examples, all amazing in their own way.

The Minoan Palace at Knossos, Crete, that was abandoned around 1200BC.

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Pompeii- destoyed in 79AD during the eruption of Mt Vesuvius.

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The Colosseum – the Flavian amphitheatre in Rome that took 10 years to build between AD70 – AD80

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The Louvre Palace, built in the late 12th century as a fortress seen through the modern glass pyramid erected in 1969.

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The Duomo, Baptistry & Campanile built in Florence between 1296 – 1436.

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The Radcliffe Camera, Oxford, built as a circular library in the mid 18th century.

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Beehive Cottage, a thatched Cottage in Swan Green near Lyndhurst, Hampshire built around 1833.

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La Tour Eiffel, built in Paris in 1889 for the World’s Fair.

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Flinders St Station, Melbourne, the first railway station in an Australian city, built in 1909.

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The Thyangboche Monastery, Nepal. Originally built in 1916 but rebuilt in 1989 after it was destroyed by fire.

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Australia on Collins, an Art Deco style shopping precinct facing Collins St in Melbourne.

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I love a view

In real estate circles the catch cry is ‘Location, Location’, my priority when travelling is not much different. Wherever I choose to stay I really need a view, preferably with a balcony overlooking it, so that I can sit and reflect and write. A crisp Semillon Sauvignon goes down quite nicely (and very often so quickly) with a view to drink by. A view of the ocean is preferable but, as there isn’t always an ocean available,  beautiful scenery of any description is perfectly acceptable.

View of the Arc de Triomphe from the balcony of my hotel.

View across from the hotel.

Beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder and it’s not always scenery that attracts me to the view. In Paris it was the fact that I could see the Arc de Triomphe from my (admittedly small) balcony. The buildings opposite also had that Parisien charm that photographs so well (http://www.hotel-astrid.com/).

A Roman rooftop - view from my bedroom window!

Trevi Fountain 7.00am

In Rome, I gave up the view, and the balcony, in favour of the perfect location. The Trevi Fountain was twenty steps from the front door of our apartment and, being so close, gave us the advantage of being able to visit the fountain bright and early in a morning, before the tourists descended.

Trevi Fountain crowd 10.00pm

My balcony

When we talk views from a balcony I think this one wins hands down. This balcony led out from my bedroom in this villa in Crete. The sun sparkling off the ocean, dinner on the balcony as the rays from the dying sun lit up the coastline. I really don’t think I can do it justice with mere words.

View from that balcony

As the sun sets

Looking across to the North East coast of Tasmania

Australia in a snapshot. From the balcony of the log cabins at Rainbow Retreat, a nature based eco retreat, on the north east coast of Tasmania, the spectacular view lures the eye over the treetops to the coastline beyond. As an added bonus you can feed the wallabies from the balcony and interact with the local wildlife on this Private Nature Reserve (http://www.rainbowretreat.com.au/).

The street in Florence

Another streetscape, this time in Florence. A narrow street – five minute walk one way to the Santa Maria Novella train station, two minute walk the other way to the Piazza Santa Maria Novella and less than ten minutes to the Duomo and the Ponte Vecchio. Perfect spot and a really great hotel (http://www.hotelrivoli.it/en/).

Boab tree at Emma Gorge Resort in the Kimberley

From the steps of the tented cabins at Emma Gorge Resort in the El Questro Wilderness Park, the ancient Boab becomes a silhouette against the fiery sunset in this stark yet magnificent landscape (http://www.elquestro.com.au/emmagorge/).

Reflections off the Cockburn Ranges

And finally, my own private B & B (aka my brother’s place). Cowaramup doesn’t necessarily spring to mind when you think of the South West of the state, but maybe if I say Margaret River you’ll know where I’m talking about. Cowaramup (abbreviated by some to Cowtown, although the name has nothing to do with cows), is only a few minutes from Margaret River and I am lucky enough to have a more or less open invitation (thanks guys :-))

Who's watching who/

 

In a region renowned for its beauty and its wineries, what else are we supposed to do on a summer’s evening but sit on the patio, watch the wildlife and taste test the local produce.

 

 

 

Thank you all for reading and, while you’re here, if I could be so bold as to ask you to cast your eyes over to the right hand side of this page. You may notice a flagrant request for you to vote for me in the Sydney Writer’s Centre Best Australian Blogs competition. Go on, do it – you know you want to.